China objects to Modi’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh state

Indian prime minister also visited occupied Kashmir and told people there that he had come to win hearts.

BEIJING: China has raised objections to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s weekend visit to Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims to be part of southern Tibet. However, New Delhi rejected the claim and said Arunachal Pradesh had always been a part of India. 

Modi visited Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday to inaugurate infrastructure projects, including a tunnel that will provide all-weather connectivity to the strategically located border area of Tawang. Modi also visited the occupied Jammu and Kashmir and told a gathering of people in Srinagar that he had come to win hearts of the people in the area. These visits and announcements of projects for the border states are aimed at ratcheting support for Modi in the forthcoming general elections in India. 

The nuclear-armed neighbours share a 3,000-km (1,860-mile) frontier, much of it poorly demarcated. At least 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese troops were killed in 2020 in clashes elsewhere along their border in the western Himalayas. Both militaries have fortified positions and deployed extra troops and equipment along the border since having been uneasy neighbours for decades after a bloody border war in 1962.

Last year, China ratcheted up tensions with India by giving Chinese names to 11 locations in Arunachal Pradesh. 

China claims Arunachal Pradesh to be a part of southern Tibet. New Delhi rejects the claim, saying Arunachal Pradesh has always been a part of India.

“Indian leaders visit Arunachal Pradesh from time to time, as they visit other states of India. Objecting to such visits or India’s developmental projects does not stand to reason,” said Randhir Jaiswal, India’s foreign ministry spokesperson.

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